Coleman Nogle started wrestling at the age of five. Nogle’s father, John, stopped coaching at Springbrook High School so he could start coaching Coleman and his brother Carter for the Burtonsville Panthers Rec-league. After a couple of years in rec, Nogle moved up to the Burtonsville & Olney Outlaws travel team.

John continued coaching Coleman with the Outlaws for the next six years or so. Occasionally, they would travel up to Mount Airy to practice with the Maryland Maniacs, including most of the kids who now wrestle at South Carroll.

Nogle didn’t achieve a lot of success in his early days. It wasn’t until the later stages of his junior league career, once he got to middle school, that Nogle started winning tournaments and traveling to the national events like the Virginia Challenge and McDonogh Duals.

After placing fifth several times, and finishing as the runner up in seventh grade, Nogle finally won the state tournament in his final junior league season. The summer between eighth and ninth grade, Nogle placed seventh in freestyle and fourth in Greco at USA Wrestling Nationals in Fargo, ND.

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All of this led to an outstanding four year high school career and Mount St. Joseph and, today, to Nogle being named the 2022-23 Baltimore Banner/VSN Lower Weight Wrestler of the Year.

“The plan wasn’t always to attend Mount Saint Joe for high school,” Nogle explained. “It was either the local public school or other private schools throughout the Baltimore/Washington area. Coach Harry Barnabae reached out as I entered my eighth-grade year and scheduled a shadow day. After following a student through a typical school day, and attending wrestling practice, I fell in love. That’s when I decided I wanted to wear purple for the next four years.”

Mount St. Joseph's Coleman Nagle works towards a fall in his run to an individual title at the War on the Shore earlier this year. (Courtesy of Harry Barnabae)

His career started as expected with MIAA and state championships as a freshman. COVID-19 robbed Nogle of his sophomore season.

As a junior, Nogle succeeded but not to his lofty standards. The Gael was second in the MIAA Tournament and states, losing both championship bouts to McDonogh’s Billy DeKraker, who has since decamped for national powerhouse Blair Academy in New Jersey. The bad mojo followed him into the National Prep tournament. Nogle was 2-0 versus Gilman’s Emmitt Sherlock when they collided again in the fifth-place match. This time, Sherlock would solve the Nogle riddle with a 5-3 win.

The Harvard commit regrouped in the off season and fine-tuned his craft.

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“I had several mixed emotions coming into my final high school season,” said Nogle. “I was excited to lace up the shoes for one final ride, but it felt bittersweet that the end was approaching. I knew I had to go out firing on all cylinders. That was the plan. Wrestle hard and have fun.”

When the season opened, St. Joe travelled out of state on consecutive weekends, hitting West Virginia and following that with a trip to Pennsylvania. Nogle won titles at both the Washington Elite Opener and Penn Manor. These tournaments started a trend that would last until National Preps, reaching the finals of every tournament he entered.

“Those competitions were a nice way to kick off the season and prepare me for the prestigious Beast of the East tournament the following weekend,” Nogle said. “I hadn’t been pushed a lot prior to Beast, but I felt that I was ready to go, especially given the fact that I was the No. 2 seed.”

Nogle proved his national ranking and seeding to be true at the Beast of the East in Delaware by traversing his bracket and landing in the finals. His foe was two-time New York state champ Tyler Ferrara (Chenango Forks), who went on to win his third state crown this year. Nogle fell 3-1 but gave his rival all he could handle.

“The goal was to win,” Nogle added. “That’s my goal heading into every competition. I had beaten several of the wrestlers in my bracket before, so I knew I could make a run for the title. Although I didn’t finish on top of the podium, I was proud of my performance. I picked up some big wins along the way en route to my first Beast finals appearance. As a freshman, I didn’t place, and last year, as a junior, I finished fourth. This year’s tournament showed me that I am continuing to improve throughout my career.”

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After the Christmas break the Gaels headed to the East Coast Catholic Classic hosted by Benedictine Prep in Virginia. Nogle encountered the No. 1 120lber in the nation, Jax Forrest (Bishop McCort, PA), who moved up a weight for the challenge Nogle could provide. Forrest won a 13-8 decision, but Nogle hung with him.

“In early January, I dropped a match to Jax Forrest of Bishop McCort,” said Nogle. “Although I finished second yet again, I knew I was right there with the best of the best nationwide.”

Back on home soil, Nogle had his sights set on acquiring his first War on the Shore championship after being second and fifth in his previous two trips to the beach. He mowed down the competition, only having to go outside of the first period once, posting four pins, including a 1:20 one in the finals over Evan Cordrey (Sussex Central, DE).

“A couple weeks later, we headed to the eastern shore for War on the Shore,” Nogle continued. “However, I wasn’t really thinking about my past performances. The game plan is always the same, dominate. I pinned all four of my opponents, finally capturing my first war title. It’s a fun tournament, and it felt good to go out on top.”

St. Joe enjoys taking a trip to Ocean Lakes High School for the John Kelly Invitational to end their regular season tournament action. Last year the tournament was pulled from their schedule when there was a COVID-19 surge and the event downsized to only allow Virginia teams. Nogle was certainly pleased to see it back on the schedule. He won it as a freshman, so coming back one last time allowed him to bookend his career with titles at the affair.

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“Ocean Lakes is another fun tournament where MSJ travels down to Virginia Beach to compete against teams from Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia,” Nogle elaborated. “Just like War on the Shore, I pinned my way through to the top of the podium, and the team captured another tournament title. I felt great rolling into the postseason.”

Before the post-season got underway, there was one more thing left on the agenda as the Gaels journeyed up to South Carroll for one of the most anticipated dual meets in recent years.

South Carroll fielded perhaps the greatest public-school team ever in Maryland this year and St. Joe was the reigning five-time state champs (now six times). Tickets sold out and excitement permeated the gym before the match. The Cavaliers took an early lead, but the Gaels’ powerful upper weights sealed the win.

“The South Carroll match was electric,” Nogle explained. “Like I mentioned earlier, my brother and I have known some of the Cavaliers for years. We’ve been planning this dual since we were all freshmen. The crowd made that night even better. There were a lot of ups and downs for both teams, but Mount Saint Joe was able to get the 36-25 win. Although we weren’t perfect, we still got the job done. I was happy that I could contribute to the team’s success by pinning my opponent (Angelo Marchany).”

Nogle’s second MIAA title was recorded with a dominating run through his opponents. Nogle registered pins in all three matches including the finals with a second period decking of Archbishop Spalding’s Vincent Paolucci, 3:35.

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“Winning my second MIAA title was more important given that I was the runner-up last year,” Nogle said. “I pinned all of my opponents and was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler. It felt really good to be back on top.”

At states, Nogle arguably exceeded his domination from a week earlier, putting together another slew of pins, four in total, with one of them being over Paolucci again, this time in the state final, 3:41. Paolucci would go on to place fifth at National Preps.

“Finishing second last year did motivate me to work hard and reclaim my top spot in the state” Nogle added. “I tried not to think about last year. DeKraker is a great opponent and close friend of mine. We’ve gone back and forth for years, and he happened to get me that day. I came into the tournament this year with an open mind, trying to have fun doing what I do best. I pinned my way back to the top, which was relieving since I hadn’t been there since 2020 when I was freshman.”

Mount St. Joseph's Coleman Nogle pins Haverford (PA) School's Jay McConnell in the 126-pound consolation final at the National Preps wrestling tournament at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro. The Gaels were highest-placing local team at the event, finishing seventh.
Mount St. Joseph's Coleman Nogle pins Haverford (PA) School's Jay McConnell in the 126-pound consolation final at the National Preps wrestling tournament at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro. It was the final high school match of his brilliant four-year career with the Gaels. (Billy Buckheit)

Nogle was hoping to improve upon his best showing at the National Prep Tournament (fourth as a freshman) and came in as the No. 2 seed. The results were unfolding as planned until Saturday morning’s semis when Nogle faced Nikolaus O’Neill (Malvern Prep, PA). O’Neill put together a controlling match that sent Nogle into the consolation bracket for the first time this season.

Nogle bounced back to reach the bronze medal bout and still had a shot at his highest prep finish ever. But Colin Kacena was swept up in Lake Highland Prep’s upset assault on the competition and had no concern for Nogle’s goals. The Floridian pulled out the win, 4-2.

“Going into the National Preps, I was ready to go,” Nogle remarked. “I was on a 20-match pin streak and was feeling better than ever. My mind was sharp, and I truly believed that I could contend for a prep title. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and I finished fourth. At the conclusion of the tournament, I was disappointed to go out like that. However, after reflecting on my high school career, I realized that I had four successful years that I should be proud of and continue to build on.”

The two losses at preps pushed Nogle down from No. 10 in the country in SBLive’s National High School Wrestling Rankings to No. 14. He ends this year No. 1 in the state as he did his freshman campaign.

“It feels good to finish No. 1 in the state and No. 14 in the country by SBLive,” Nogle offered. “Nevertheless, I’ve always believed that rankings are just numbers, and you shouldn’t let that dictate how good of a wrestler you are. I learned several times throughout my career that I could compete with the best wrestlers in the country.”

Nogle came into the program when the Gaels were beginning their recent run of state championships and had a hand in three of their sixth consecutive titles.

“I cannot express how grateful I was to be able to spend my high school years wrestling for Mount Saint Joe,” reflected Nogle. “Winning individual titles is great, but nothing compares to winning team championships year after year. This year, MSJ wrestling captured its sixth straight Maryland state championship, while having eight individual champions out of 14 weight classes. Wrestling is more fun and easier to improve when you are surrounded by a group of wrestlers who are constantly trying to make each other better and win as a team. Our coaches are awesome, on and off the mat. I owe my success to them, along with my teammates and family, who have supported me throughout my entire wrestling career. I wouldn’t trade my four years wrestling at MSJ for anything in the world.”

Barnabae had been keeping tabs on both Nogle brothers for quite a few years, but it was Chris Combs who helped reel them in.

“Coleman and his brother Carter were always on our radar from a very young age,” explained Barnabae. “Both were exceptional youth league wrestlers and were well coached by their father, John, who is arguably one of the best technicians in the state. I must give credit to my Assistant Chris Combs on recruiting both athletes. Chris had a very strong relationship with John and the family and was the catalyst for encouraging both of them in attending MSJ.

“As a three-year Team Captain that directed our program to consecutive state titles, I would say, that Coleman Nogle definitely falls into the category as one of our top wrestlers in the past 12 years. I would include him in the conversation with Tyler Rill, the Trybus brothers, Dan Hawkins, Shawn Orem, Justin Henry, Neil Schuster, Zach Phillips, Clement Woods, Chris Barnabae and Isaac Righter. All of these wrestlers were extremely competitive and always put the team first and had a genuine interest in continuing the decades tradition. They were truly leaders.

“What would set Coleman apart from the group would be his excellence in the classroom. He will graduate with a 4.72 GPA receiving nothing less than an “A” in all of his classes which includes Honors and AP courses. He will be attending Harvard University this fall and has ambitions to become an orthopedic surgeon. He has been a remarkable student athlete and he certainly will be missed.”

The lofty national ranking, and performance in national tournaments along with his local dominance led to Nogle being named our Lightweight Wrestler of the Year.

“I am honored to be named the Lightweight Wrestler of the Year” said Nogle. “There have been many ups and downs during my career, but it shows how far I have come when I am awarded titles such as this one. Moving forward, the plan is to learn and improve every day. I have collegiate goals that I wish to accomplish as I spend the next four years wrestling for Jay Weiss at Harvard University. I hope wrestlers in the state of Maryland will remember me as someone who always worked for the fall and who motivated others to achieve their maximum potential. Of course, while always having fun.”